Different Types of Drywall: Understanding the Differences
Drywall is the colloquial term for gypsum wallboard. It is a versatile building material used in residential and commercial construction projects that require a smooth finished surface. Drywall comes in several different types, each with its own advantages and usage scenarios. However, it can be difficult to understand the subtle nuances between all of the different options. In this article, we go over the various kinds of drywall and explain their pros and cons.
What is drywall?
Drywall is a construction material made of gypsum, a soft mineral also known as calcium sulfate. The standard composition of drywall is 96% gypsum and 4% polyester resin binder. Drywall is most commonly used in residential and commercial construction as a sound-deadening and fire-resistant wall covering. It can be installed either vertically or horizontally, and is often used when finishing basements, garages, and other areas that require fire resistance. Drywall is also often used as a drop cloth during painting projects because of its ability to minimally absorb paint. Drywall is typically sold in large sheets measuring 48 inches wide and 88 inches long. The sheets are comprised of a number of individual panels with a paper covering on one side. Drywall is a lightweight material, ranging from 10–15 pounds per square foot.
Gypsum drywall (also known as sheetrock or simply drywall)
Gypsum drywall is the most common type of drywall. This type of drywall is composed of a paper-based material (usually either a blue or green paper) with a gypsum-based compound sandwiched in between the paper on both sides. The paper side of the drywall has a textured pattern of fiber mesh embedded in it. The other side of the drywall is a smooth, white gypsum surface. Gypsum drywall is a popular choice for interior construction projects because of its affordability and easy installation. This type of drywall is often used to finish walls before painting or installing other wall coverings. Gypsum drywall is easy to cut and can be installed vertically or horizontally.
Drywall tape is a paper-based material that comes in a few different types and is used as an adhesive for installing drywall. Paper-based drywall tape has a long history of use and is a reliable and cost-effective solution. However, over time, the paper backing of drywall tape can deteriorate and wrinkle, causing the tape to lose its adhesive strength. Polyethylene drywall tape is a newer type of drywall tape that has become more common in recent years. Polyethylene drywall tape has a plastic backing that is designed to be more resistant to weathering than paper-based drywall tape.
Water-resistant drywall (drywall with a water-resistant coating)
A water-resistant drywall has a coating applied to the surface of the drywall to help reduce moisture absorption. Water-resistant drywall can be used in bathrooms and other areas of the home that are exposed to high humidity and moisture levels. Water-resistant drywall is essentially “green” drywall that has been treated with a chemical coating in order to make it more water resistant. It is also often called “greenboard”. The main benefit of water-resistant drywall is that it doesn’t wrinkle like regular drywall. Regular drywall will wrinkle when exposed to high humidity, which can cause a variety of issues like bubbling paint and peeling wallpaper. Water-resistant drywall is a good choice for bathrooms and other high-humidity areas of the home, but it also comes with a higher price tag than regular drywall.
Foam drywall is a type of drywall that uses a foamed gypsum compound in place of a traditional paper-based gypsum board. The gypsum board is made from gypsum with a polyester resin binder, but in foam drywall, the polyester is replaced with an expanding synthetic foam. The foam helps to reduce noise transfer. Foam drywall is often used in noisy areas like construction sites and airports where sound reduction is a concern. There are two types of foam drywall: open-cell and closed-cell. Open-cell foam drywall is commonly used in construction settings, whereas closed-cell foam drywall is more commonly used in commercial settings. Closed-cell foam drywall is more effective at blocking noise than open-cell foam.
Decorative drywall is a type of gypsum board that has a textured surface designed to replicate other building materials like plaster or wood. Textured drywall can be a cost-effective and easy way to give a room a new look. However, it can be difficult to match the texture of the drywall to existing walls, and the surface may not be as durable as other wall materials. Decorative drywall is also sometimes called textured gypsum board. It is an alternative to covering walls with wallpaper or painting them with a faux finish. Textured drywall is easy to install and comes in a variety of different textures. It is not fire resistant and is not suitable for areas where it may get wet, but it is a great option for many rooms in the home.
Combination gypsum and foam drywall
There are many different types of drywall on the market, each with different properties and applications. In some cases, builders will use a combination of two different types of drywall in the same wall. One example is a combination of greenboard and foam drywall. Greenboard has good water resistance but is not very effective at reducing noise. Foam drywall, on the other hand, is great at reducing noise but is not water resistant. In this scenario, builders would use greenboard on the interior side of the wall, where it faces the living spaces, and foam drywall on the exterior side of the wall, where it faces the noisy areas like machinery or transportation routes.
Drywall is a construction material made of gypsum, a soft mineral also known as calcium sulfate. Gypsum drywall is the most common type of drywall. Drywall tape is a paper-based material used as an adhesive for installing drywall. Water-resistant drywall is a good choice for bathrooms and other high-humidity areas of the home. Foam drywall is a type of drywall that uses a foamed gypsum compound in place of a traditional paper-based gypsum board. Decorative drywall is a type of gypsum board that has a textured surface designed to replicate other building materials like plaster or wood. Combination gypsum and foam drywall is a combination of two different types of drywall used in a single wall.
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